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Friday News: Cry havoc, and let slip the poll-reversing distraction

TRUMP LAUNCHES CRUISE MISSILE ATTACK ON SYRIAN AIRBASE: The US has carried out a missile strike against a Syrian air base in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town. Fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two US Navy ships in the Mediterranean. At least six people are reported to have been killed. It is the first direct US military action against forces commanded by Syria's president. The Kremlin, which backs Bashar al-Assad, has condemned the strike. It comes just days after dozens of civilians, including many children, died in the suspected nerve gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39523654

Thursday News: The stink of corruption

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MASSIVE POLITICAL DONATIONS SHIELD HOG FARMERS FROM LAWSUITS: Under the bill, property owners would most likely only be able to collect a $7,000 cap in damages over a three-year period, and the bill would apply to any lawsuit pending at the time it goes into effect. There are currently twenty-six pending federal lawsuits filled against Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. As we reported last week, the bill's sponsors, including Representative Jimmy Dixon, R-Wayne and Duplin, have gotten serious contributions from the pork industry over the years. According to campaign finance records, Dixon has received more than $115,000 in contributions from Big Pork over the course of his career, including $36,250 from donors associated with Murphy-Brown, the company facing more than two dozen federal lawsuits that the bill in question would essentially nullify.
http://www.indyweek.com/news/archives/2017/04/05/big-pork-protection-bill-clears-judiciary-committee...

Wednesday News: The definition of insanity

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GOP REFILES POWER GRAB RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL BY 3-JUDGE PANEL: House Republicans are rushing a bill through the legislature that would aim to salvage last year’s attempt to take away control of elections boards from the political party of the governor. A law passed in a 2016 post-election special session and signed by former Gov. Pat McCrory would have consolidated the state elections and ethics boards and evenly divided membership of the new board between Republicans and Democrats. But a three-judge panel struck down that law last month as an unconstitutional encroachment on executive authority. Like the previous law, the new proposal would increase county elections boards from three to four members, evenly split between the parties. County boards would select their own chairs, who would belong to alternating political parties every other year with Republicans leading in even-numbered years.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article142695184.html

Tuesday News: Blackwatergate

ERIK PRINCE HELPED CREATE CLANDESTINE COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN TRUMP/PUTIN: The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. The meeting took place around Jan. 11 - nine days before Trump's inauguration - in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would likely require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions. U.S. officials said the FBI has been scrutinizing the Seychelles meeting as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged contacts between associates of Putin and Trump. The FBI declined to comment.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article142472939.html

Monday News: April's Fool

TRUMP DECLARES APRIL SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH: But given Trump’s previous comments about women, including the infamous “Access Hollywood” recording in which he bragged about grabbing women by their gentials, as well as allegations from several women that he sexually assaulted them, many of the president’s critics saw the announcement as tragically ironic, especially given its proximity to April Fools’ Day. The joke was perfectly crystalized by actress and comedian Tina Fey, who was speaking at an ACLU telethon Friday night. “Earlier tonight, in what is surely an April Fools' joke, the president proclaimed that next month will be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month,” Fey said, per Mic. “So now we know what he gave up for Lent.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article142162434.html

Sunday News: LGBTQ Voices

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DISCRIMINATION BY ANY OTHER NAME: I am a woman who happens to be transgender. All I want is to be able to live my life like any other resident. On March 31, on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, I am speaking out against House Bill 142, the so-called HB2 “repeal” that Gov. Roy Cooper signed. I have lived under HB2 for the past year, forced to break the law just to use the restroom in public. HB 142 bans public buildings from having their own policies about bathroom access. That’s still discrimination. Cooper has shown that he is willing to fund his campaign with contributions from the LGBT community, then abandon us when asked to keep his promises. Transgender people deserve better.
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article142186849.html

Saturday News: Scammer-in-Chief?

JUDGE RULES TRUMP MUST PAY BACK $25 MILLION TO TRUMP UNIVERSITY VICTIMS: "Over the past seven years, our goal has always has been to help these everyday Americans move forward with their lives," attorney Amber Eck said. The Democratic New York attorney general said the ruling "will provide relief — and hopefully much-needed closure — to the victims of Donald Trump's fraudulent university." The lawsuits alleged that Trump University gave nationwide seminars that were like infomercials, constantly pressuring people to spend more and, in the end, failing to deliver. Political rivals used Trump's depositions and extensive documents filed in the lawsuits to portray him as dishonest and deceitful.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article141892594.html

Friday News: The aftermath of HB142

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HB2 REPEAL DEAL WIDELY VIEWED AS BAIT-AND-SWITCH, NOT REAL COMPROMISE: The NCAA had threatened to remove all championship basketball games from the state through 2022 if H.B. 2 was not repealed by Thursday. Because the political and financial cost of such a move would dwarf the billions already lost to the law, on Wednesday night the state’s Republican leadership and the new Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, forged an unholy deal — a kind of bait-and-switch meant to keep NCAA games and their revenue in the Tar Heel State — and sent it to the legislature Thursday, where it was approved with bipartisan support and later signed by Cooper. “It’s not about principle, it’s about the money” was the overall take Thursday morning from the cafe gang of six, which included a real estate agent, an ironworker and a schoolteacher.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/you-cant-compromise-on-civil-rights-but-north-carolina-just-...

Thursday News: One-way compromise?

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HB2 "DEAL" WOULD CONTINUE PROHIBITION OF TRANSGENDER BATHROOM CHOICE: North Carolina lawmakers could repeal House Bill 2 on Thursday under a deal struck late Wednesday night by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders. Senate leader Phil Berger announced the deal shortly after 10:30 p.m. The announcement capped days of marathon, often contentious negotiations and closed-door meetings. “I support the House Bill 2 repeal compromise that will be introduced tomorrow,” Cooper said in a statement. “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation.” “The deal proposed would continue to actively discriminate against the LGBT community,” Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, said in a conference call.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article141566264.html

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